Last year, we gave qualified investors the opportunity to invest in StartupYard Batch 7, via the Czech investment crowdfunding platform Fundlift, backed by Roklen. As you may know, the campaign was more successful than even we had hoped, and the subscription limit was met in a matter of days.
Because our community has expressed such interest, we are very pleased to announce that StartupYard will again be doing a private placement via Fundlift to invest in StartupYard Batches 8 and 9 and potential follow-on funding for the best performing companies. This will be our first fund to cover more than one cohort of startups, and the focus of Batches 8 and 9 will be “Deep Tech.”
Here is the official announcement from Roklen
— Roklen24.cz (@roklen24) April 27, 2017
The New Fund and Focus
The fund will raise a minimum of 13m CZK, and will include investment capital for 14-20 startups, and a potential follow-on fund for both rounds, giving investors an opportunity to further leverage the first-mover advantage of investing in very early stage companies.
Deep Tech, in short, means technologies and products that are unique, difficult to replicate, or are exploring areas of innovation where the barrier to entry remains high, and the problems scientifically complex and difficult, such as Robots, AI, IoT, VR/AR, and Cryptography. StartupYard will seek to identify more early stage startups with a profile similar to such Deep Tech-focused alumni as Neuron Soundware, TeskaLabs, Cryptelo, or Rossum.
Up to 150 qualified investors will be able to take part in this non-public offer, and they will invest alongside a group of professional startup investors. The minimum ticket for this Fundlift campaign will be 25,000 CZK.
Where Does the Money Go?
Funds being raised will be invested directly in 14-20 startups, in two rounds of acceleration. Each team will receive a direct investment of 30,000 Euros (half at the midpoint of the program, and half at the end), and the best performers may be considered for follow-on financing, either in cooperation with outside investors, or in-house.
Investors will own a proportional stake in each of the startups selected and accelerated for this round. StartupYard’s total stake in individual startups ranges from 5-10%, or higher, in case of a follow-on investment.
Why Not Invest Directly In Startups?
Of course, we want those interested and able to invest in early-stage startups to consider investing in any of our portfolio companies (present and future) directly. That should go without saying. If you want to invest in individual startups, you should do so, and we are happy to help you in that process.
At the same time, there are barriers to entry in angel investing that many with an appetite for investment find too cumbersome. Legal knowledge of investment, assuring transparency, and vetting startups is a challenge for any small scale investor. What’s more, startups who are worthy of investment often are selective of early investors, looking only for those with experience and a track record in angel investing. We advise startups to protect themselves in this process, by working with investors who are proven and recommended by others.
More and more, accelerators like StartupYard bridge these gaps: connecting qualified and trusted investors with equally qualified and trustworthy startups. An accelerator also spreads an investor’s risk to a selection of startups in several verticals, keeping their investments diverse.
You can see this as an opportunity to build your brand among startups as a potential investor; someone who is willing to invest, and has shown their capacity to take appropriate risks in order to do so. Angel investing isn’t for everyone, but it can be for more people. This can be seen as a manageable first step.
This is a way of getting started. You shouldn’t expect to get rich quick as an angel investor, nor can you count on getting anything back, but investing through StartupYard can provide assurance that your investment is used appropriately, and that it has the best likelihood of success. We also ensure that startups follow industry best practices in legal and finance, and larger institutional investors, including VCs like Credo Ventures and Rockaway Capital, are also invested in the outcome of our decisions. In short, StartupYard can provide some protections against the pitfalls of angel investing that many are already familiar with.
There would be no StartupYard without investors willing to take risks. While we offer enormous value to angel investors who pick individual companies from our portfolio to invest in, that portfolio would not exist, if we did not have our own committed investors supplying initial funds. An accelerator needs funding- just as a fire needs oxygen. In order to accelerate, or to expand our services to startups, we have to have funding in place.
How to Invest?
Fundlift is not a donation platform like Kickstarter. It is an investment platform and you will be investing using Roklen as a licensed securities broker. In order to invest, a person must meet some legal requirements, including a full anti-money laundering process which is part of EU regulations.
Prospective investors should apply to open a brokerage account through Fundlift, and follow a verification process on the platform before being allowed to invest. It may sound daunting, but it is worthwhile. Once you become an investor, your investments will be duly recorded on your account and Roklen will administer all payments, change of ownership and key reporting until such time when we exit all investments and return money and profits to you, our investors.
If you are interested in the offering, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . More info is available directly from Fundlift.